Because director Franco Zeffirelli noted publicly that he intended to depict Jesus Christ as a human being rather than a religious icon, his expensive made-for-TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth fell victim to protestors long before its April 3, 1977, debut. Despite the pullout of several sponsors, Jesus of Nazareth was aired as scheduled, sweeping ...Read MoreBecause director Franco Zeffirelli noted publicly that he intended to depict Jesus Christ as a human being rather than a religious icon, his expensive made-for-TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth fell victim to protestors long before its April 3, 1977, debut. Despite the pullout of several sponsors, Jesus of Nazareth was aired as scheduled, sweeping the ratings in the process. In avoiding the usual overproduced Hollywood approach to the Gospels, Zeffirelli offers one of the most sensitive and reverent portrayals of Jesus ever seen on film. In the title role, Robert Powell heads a huge international cast, which includes Olivia Hussey as Mary, Peter Ustinov as Herod the Great, Christopher Plummer as Herod Antipas, Michael York as John the Baptist, James Farentino as Simon Peter, Donald Pleasence as Melchior, James Earl Jones as Balthazar, Ian McShane as Judas, Anne Bancroft as Mary Magdalene, Rod Steiger as Pontius Pilate, James Mason as Joseph of Arimathea, Anthony Quinn as Caiaphas, Laurence Olivier as Nicodemus, Ernest Borgnine as the Centurion, and Claudia Cardinale as the Adulteress. Filmed in England, Tunisia, and Morocco, Jesus of Nazareth was scripted by Zeffirelli, Anthony Burgess, and Suso Cecchi D'Amico. It originally aired in two three-hour segments, telecast Palm and Easter Sunday of 1977 as part of NBC's Big Event anthology. Hal Erickson, RoviRead Less
Like New. This epic chronicle of Christ begins with the arrangements of the wedding between Joseph and Mary, proceeds through Jesus' birth, his encounter with John the Baptist, and all the way to the grueling, transfigurative end. The all-star cast includes Anne Bancroft, Laurence Olivier, Michael York, James Mason, Rod Steiger, and Robert Powell as Jesus. As the beautiful locations, superb performances, and reverent portrayals reveal, Franco Zeffirelli (OTELLO, HAMLET) directed this six-hour-plus television miniseries with palpable passion.
I lovethis movie, the man who plays Jesus is perfect for the part. It is loving an gentle and just a great religious movie. I would recommend this to everyone.
Debbie Pittsburgh PA
Apr 8, 2010
Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus of Nazareth DVD by Franco Zeffirelli is a classic. The scriptural quotes used are truly moving. The scene with Matthew the tax collector and Peter the fisherman will bring emotion from within. This is quite a long movie and definitely not a one night watch. I usually watch it in three nights. This is the best religious movie made as far as meaning goes. If you prefer entertainment and hollywood extravaganzas, then this is not for you. The Passion of the Christ or Ten Commandments would suit you better.
Sep 10, 2009
Viewing Jesus of Nazareth
I have enjoyed this 6 hour film and want to say that it is the best film on the Bible that I have ever seen because the producer went to great lengths to portray the local culture at the time of the life of Jesus. He also went to great lengths to bring out in detail the miracles related to the account in the gospels. The film goes from one miracle to another and one can see the incredible working of the hand of the Divine continually throughout the whole film. The involvement of the Divine with humanity comes to light repeatedly and brings new hope and comfort to the one watching the film. I also found the acting in this film to be superb, flawless. This is a film I would recommend to everyone and would not want people to miss the chance to see it!